UPDATE: Mentally ill released from prison

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Chris Berdoz - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Tonight, we continue our investigation into why some mentally ill inmates aren't connected to psychiatric services before they're released from prison.

A local woman says that's what her brother needed before he was set free. Salena Fraierson says her brother belongs in central state hospital. Instead, she says the Department of Corrections put him in a motel room and left him. It was one month, Salena says, before he saw a mental health worker.

Snow White Motel isn't the only facilty where the guest in the next room could be a newly released prisoner. We're at this motel because Chad Chandler Neblet is here. His sister is afraid he'll hurt someone.

"He's a danger to himself and other people, everybody's aware of that." said Fraierson.

Curious about ex-cons living in motels paid for by the state, NBC12 called the Snow White Motel. Owner, Harry Patel said he gets $180 a week per person, from the state, no murderers or sex offenders accepted.

He must not have known Chad's history. Chad served 4 years in Greensville on a conviction of taking indecent liberties with children. He's also schizophrenic.

His sister says the lack of resources given him, upon his release is not only inadequate, it's harmful.

"I'm just worried about him being violent towards someone or someone being violent towards him because they are afraid of him." Fraierson said.

The Department of Corrections told us it does not have a contract with Snow White motel. It uses motels when an offender has no means of support. It also says family support is essential given the state's limited resources.

"I did try to take care of him since 1999 but I don't have the training and I have small children." Fraierson said.

This motel has been Chad's home since July, until today. He's been moved since our inquiries. Corrections says it understands the family's concern. It has an obligation to Chad and the larger community and will maintain intensive supervision until a resolution is found.

"That's my concern. To protect society from him. With the right help, the right medication, he won't be harmful to himself or others." Fraierson said.

Salena says she loves her brother and wants to do what's right. She called 12 to get someone to listen. The Department of Corrections won't discuss his treatment, but Chad's on their radar now.

Meantime, here are a couple of resources if you have a similar struggle.

NAMI Virginia

Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation
804- 786-5682

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